Wednesday, February 2, 2022 News

SPARC Announces Search for Two VPO Roles, Applications Open Through February 23

SPARC is seeking two Visiting Program Officers (VPOs) to assist us with critical initiatives over the next year. The first is a VPO for Open Models, who will engage with libraries and pro-open publishers to develop programs and resources designed to increase understanding and accelerate adoption of innovative open business models. The second is the VPO for Privacy, whose role will be to educate SPARC members about emerging privacy threats facing libraries and to cultivate a community of practice to support members in developing strategies to mitigate these threats. Applications for both roles will be open until February 23rd. More details about each role, including links to the role descriptions and application are below. Please contact Val Hollister at [email protected] with any questions.


Visiting Program Officer (VPO) for Open Models

For decades, open access advocates have observed that all subscription journals could be immediately “flipped” to open—at no additional cost—if libraries would simply agree to maintain their subscriptions going forward. While simple and appealing, the idea foundered on the rocks of the collective action (or free-rider) problem. That is, in practice, most libraries will not continue to pay for a resource that’s openly available to all.  

‘Subscribe to Open’ (S2O) is designed to overcome these collective action issues by making the opening of content contingent on sufficient subscriber support and by delivering additional local incentives to motivate that support. S2O has been well received and the number of publishers adopting the model continues to grow. At the same time, acceptance and adoption of S2O and other innovative open models are often hindered by several challenges:

  • For libraries, vetting and monitoring individual S2O offers can be burdensome and time-consuming.
  • Adopting new open models unilaterally requires more effort and poses more risk than many nonprofit publishers can tolerate.
  • S2O (and other open models) can be implemented most effectively and efficiently at scale.
  • To help address these challenges, SPARC is introducing a Visiting Program Officer (VPO) for Open Models.

The Open Models VPO will engage with libraries and pro-open publishers to develop programs and resources designed to increase understanding and accelerate adoption of innovative open models. These resources will include online resources and webinars designed to increase acceptance of open models, as well as shared assessment criteria and tools with which to evaluate S2O and other conditional open offers.

SPARC seeks to identify a VPO for open models in the spring of 2022 to lead these efforts and we encourage you to share this new opportunity throughout the North American academic library community. Applications for this privacy VPO position will be open until March 21st. Full details about this position and instructions for how to apply are available here. If there are any questions about the role, please contact Val Hollister at [email protected] 


Visiting Program Officer (VPO)  for for Privacy

SPARC has been closely tracking the threats to privacy faced by libraries and their users that are increasingly present throughout academic infrastructure. As we noted in a blog post last year, the erosion of privacy protections has become increasingly evident throughout SPARC’s work, and the surveillance activities of leading library vendors are alarming and run counter to core library values. For systems of open research and open education to be equitable, protecting users’ privacy is critical. 

In conversations with SPARC members over the past year, we have heard rising concern about privacy issues and an increased interest in taking action to address these concerns. To advance SPARC’s work in this area, SPARC is seeking a visiting program officer (VPO) for privacy. The aim of this position will be to educate SPARC members about emerging privacy threats facing libraries and to cultivate a community of practice to support members in developing strategies to mitigate these threats. 

While candidates should have a commitment to addressing privacy and surveillance threats, expert-level knowledge of these issues is not a requirement. The VPO will be supported by expertise from the SPARC team and experts from the wider community.

Applications for this privacy VPO position will be open until March 21st. Full details about this position and instructions for how to apply are available here. If there are any questions about the role, please contact Val Hollister at [email protected]


 

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